T&D World Magazine

Osmose to Offer Outage-Avoidance Service to Utilities

Osmose Utilities Services has announced a new solution for electric utilities seeking to improve distribution network reliability. Osmose has formed an alliance with Exacter, Inc. that enhances both companies` ability to help customers eliminate or reduce outages and meet their reliability targets. The alliance combines Osmose`s nationwide team of professional-grade technicians and project managers with Exacter`s proprietary predictive-maintenance technology.

Utility companies are under increasing pressure from consumers and regulators to improve reliability and power quality while maintaining low delivery costs. Reliability initiatives typically include expansion of tree-trimming programs and the installation of animal guards to exposed electrical equipment. But equipment failures persist as a leading cause of outages and defective equipment has proven to be difficult to identify prior to failure.

Nelson Bingel, Osmose vice president-engineering, said: "Our company has worked with clients to identify and visually locate the leading causes of outages in their worst-performing circuits, but we lacked the ideal technology to identify defective equipment prior to actual failure."

At the heart of the alliance is Exacter`s outage-avoidance technology that can identify failing overhead equipment so that it can be repaired or replaced before outages occur. Exacter has an extensive database of equipment failure information on more than one million poles from nearly one hundred utilities. Exacter`s field test data shows that its failing equipment findings are 97.8% accurate.

Key benefits of the Osmose/Exacter alliance to utility companies include:

  • A technology-enabled process to accurately identify failing equipment
  • Improved speed to large-scale deployment with Osmose manpower
  • Improved SAIFI and mitigation of worst-performing circuits; reduced complaints from LAN and AMI operators

The linking of Osmose`s professional workforce with Exacter`s technology promises to provide utilities with a comprehensive assessment of electrical components together with the condition of poles and related distribution equipment. "This view will be very valuable for executive-level budgeting for line upgrades, Smart Grid deployments, and for repair-versus-replace decisions of aging distribution infrastructure," said Exacter President and CEO John Lauletta.

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